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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 15:16 GMT
Dons plot hockey move
Wimbledon supporters have campaigned against the proposed move to Milton Keynes
The proposed move to Milton Keyenes has caused outrage
Wimbledon say they are hoping to move into the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes.

The Dons will use the venue while they wait for a permanent home to be built at the National Bowl.

The club were intending to play their first match at a temporary stadium to be built at the Bowl by Boxing Day until the Football League requested more information about the proposal.

This has always been our preferred option

Dons chairman Charles Koppel

But Wimbledon confirmed on Wednesday the Hockey Stadium is now their preferred option for a temporary base until an 18,000-seater home can be built at Denbigh North in the city.

Dons chairman Charles Koppel said in a statement: "We are delighted by the opportunity of having the National Hockey Stadium as our temporary home.

"This has always been our preferred option.

"I am confident that working closely with the National Hockey Foundation we can reach an agreement that will ultimately benefit hockey in the long run and Wimbledon Football Club in the short term.

"Our investment in facilities to create a safe and enjoyable match day experience for everyone will mean that the material benefits will exist beyond our need to play in a temporary stadium.

"So if we can leave something of value to another sport then this is clearly important."

The Dons obtained planning permission earlier this year to update the Hockey Stadium, which currently falls short of Football League safety criteria.

Tony Billson of the National Hockey Foundation, who own the ground, said:

We have talked in detail to make sure that our needs are accommodated

National Hockey Federation's Tony Billson

"We have been discussing a way to move forward together for some time.

"The benefit to Wimbledon Football Club, and to Milton Keynes as a whole, of using the National Hockey Stadium as the club's temporary home is clear.

"But it has always been our priority to ensure that this relationship has long term, lasting benefits for hockey as well.

"We have talked in detail to make sure that our needs are accommodated.

"I am confident that we will soon be in a position to complete these talks."

 VOTE RESULTS
Should Wimbledon move to Milton Keynes?

Yes
 38.60% 

No
 61.40% 

12157 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Wimbledon are planning to relocate to Milton Keyes

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